One of the last pictures my sister and I took with my grandfather

Though I only just unpacked my suitcase from my great-grandma’s funeral last week, I got some sad news Monday morning that my grandfather (on the other side of the family) had passed away. It wasn’t exactly a surprise, as he’d been put on hospice care several days earlier, but it’s still sad. Though I’m glad he’s not in pain anymore, I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.

I keep going back to the summer he lived with us after my grandmother died. I was about about nine at the time, and I’ll never forget how he spent practically every day out working in my mom’s garden. When he wasn’t doing that, he was fixing things around the house, building dollhouses for my sister and I, and spending time with the family. As my mom puts it, he really knew how to mourn.

Though I spent a fair amount of time crying over the past few days, I woke up this morning (after 4 hours of deep sleep, which so far is better than six hours of restless shut-eye) feeling a lot more peaceful. Neither my grandfather nor my great-grandmother would want me to be sad—they’d want me to spend time doing meaningful things with and for the people I love. Once I’ve had a cup of coffee, of course…

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